Acta Scientific Clinical Case Reports

Research ArticleVolume 3 Issue 3

Policies, Politics, Press, Science, Psychology, Philosophies, Perceptions and Practices of Covid 19 Pandemic 2020-22

K Suresh

Public Health Consultant and Honorary Visiting Professor, School of Environmental Science, Public Health and Sanitation Management, Karnataka State Rural Development and Panchayat Raj University (KSRDPRU), Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

*Corresponding Author: K Suresh, Public Health Consultant and Honorary Visiting Professor, School of Environmental Science, Public Health and Sanitation Management, Karnataka State Rural Development and Panchayat Raj University (KSRDPRU), Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.

Received: January 19, 2022; Published: February 24, 2022

Abstract

Science plays a fundamental role in human lives in the modern world, but not many people have enough exposure to it and negligible people fully understand the scientific phenomena. Minimizing the gap between people and life sciences, public health and environmental monitoring can improve our own understanding of our world, that is more crucial in the time of climate change and Pandemic years of 2020-2022. However, what we see is that the Science is being sandwiched between Policies, Politics and Press (media) on one side and Human Psychology, Philosophies, Perceptions, and Practices on the other hand and often former criteria are determining the action. The nature of the Covid 19 infections, disease, hospitalization struggle and the human suffering and economic toll it has taken, emphasised the need for prioritising global collective risks over individual local or national choice or preferences.
SARS-CoV2 (Covid 19) infections since first case in December 2019 in China, has made the epidemiologists across the world realize that the respiratory viruses having a genome made of RNA are transmissible and can spread as asymptomatic infections, and some severe illnesses. The pandemic led to the need of improving health facilities and personal protectives even in the highly advanced countries. The entire world learnt that they could enter a completely unexposed population and their threat is real and unpredictable. Many scientists and public health experts expected the virus infection to spread across all geographic regions, then stabilize at endemic level like Flue or vanish over time, or some predicted new versions of the virus to emerge. These 2 years also demonstrated that even the countries with better health infrastructure than India were overwhelmed and struggled and yet struggling to manage the health, social and economic damages of the Pandemic. The size of the pandemic in any country especially low and Middle socio-economic countries like India will not have an accurate estimate for years to come, but we can say that global collective preparedness was inadequate. The lack of tools for standard epidemiological data, exchange such data, policy guidance, and human and material resources to predict, manage the spread of infection and its consequences affected this low Preparedness worldwide. There was an unprecedented and necessary investment in vaccine development, but similar emphasis on the development of science in listing of symptoms and signs, diagnostics and evaluation of treatment protocols and drugs armoury and vaccines to prevent infections are evading the world till day.
An optimal surveillance system and willingness to share of South Africa gave the world an early signal of the isolation of the new variant of Covid 19 vaccine called Omicron, though delayed by few weeks that the other countries of world noticed and swung into action to minimize the spread. It proved the need and urgency of an excellent surveillance system and data sharing as critical investments each country must make for better pandemic preparedness. Surprisingly, we don’t have foolproofly data collection, analysis and sharing mechanisms in most of the countries.
Back home in India GOI and State governments are trying their best to tackle Covid 19 Pandemic for 2 years, with knee jerk actions like lockdowns, testing, tracing contacts and treatment. However there remains a need for addressing policies being proposed and frequently changed, Press and TV media’s info pandemic and Politics directing the action rather than science. The least has come from public health sector apart from managing cases reaching facilities. Our efforts in strengthening infrastructure (other than hospitals and Covid Care centres), process and systems, people’s awareness, and involvement, and plans across public health are good but not good enough to tackle the problem at hand. The universal healthcare (UHC) commitment other than Covid 19 vaccinations and care have suffered a lot. All other national health programs and initiatives have taken a back seat and backlog of achievement against 2030 expectations have fallen short by at least 25-30% in each intervention like TB control, VBDC, NCDs or even basic commitment of Universal health Care.
In the development of regulations, science, and technology with strong links to industry, must direct the policies and actions, but both national and provincial governments have not moved or facilitated enough so far. Science found the solutions that could control the pandemic, but global politics and national interests of a few developed countries delayed global access to the solutions like vaccines and treatment protocols. This new virus has surprised the scientists, virologists, and public health experts with its ability to mutate in multiple variants of concern. Yet, there is no coherent global response, standard protocol for case management or vaccinations. Individual country strategies depend upon in perpetual cycles of panic, politics, perception, private practice, and cynicism.
In 2022 and coming years we need to recollect the hard lessons of empowering people with right information, promoting and preserving community system strengthening and trust, and the challenges of resources mobilization needed to live through difficult times, of investing in science, trusting existing institutional set ups and in improving technology. Most importantly the need for intercountry coordination, resource sharing and solidarity for united action to come out of the Covid-19 situation and change swiftly to survive disruptions become economically strong.
The quick and unexpected manifestations of the clinical symptoms starting from respiratory system to all most all parts of the human body over a years’ time, and long covid effects forced many countries to make mid-course corrections to their plans multiple times. Most of the countries have responded to these changes swiftly and with a start-up mindset. The countries where people are prepared to jump headlong to implement changes that were required to be made a cross the country. When a trouble shooter virus or situation keeps changing continuously, planning carefully, and executing them becomes impossible. The solutions come out of breaking the problem in to sub-units using the simple short term and long term, urgent and can wait matrix and line up the tasks. Then plan for Speedy rollouts of to-dos, by priorities simultaneously in a coordinated manner to yield better results, than doing things individually without any plans across the various departments or sections. The speed and clarity at which the modified plan is communicated through situation reports (SITREPs), to a single coordinator determines the response to crises. Coordinators, periodical reviews of SITRPs, actions decisions and guiding roll out plans, by building cross-functional capabilities across the departments on war footing basis are strategies that would come handy.

Materials and Methodology: This is a review existing guideline from early 2020 till day from GOI and State governments accessing NHM sites, ICMR, WHO, Press reports by city e-editions of key national English newspapers like Hindu, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Mint and Times of India and TV interviews on Republic TV, Times Now, India Today and CNBC TV 18 and NDTV Profit etc.

Keywords: Covid 19 Pandemic; Perceptions; Philosophies; Policies; Politics; Practices; Press; Psychology; Science; Television Channels

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Citation: K Suresh. “Policies, Politics, Press, Science, Psychology, Philosophies, Perceptions and Practices of Covid 19 Pandemic 2020-22". Acta Scientific Clinical Case Reports 3.3 (2022): 43-65.

Copyright: © 2022 K Suresh. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



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